Waylon Weighs In: A Review Of A DEATH OF THE FAMILY Conclusion

Whats under the platters?! This week DC's big multi-issue crossover event, A Death Of The Family, comes to a conclusion in the pages of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman #17. Click here to see my take, and see if the issue lived up to the hype.

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By Jake "WaylonJones" Lester - 2/13/2013
After months of build up, spanning over all of the Bat Family books, A Death Of The Family is coming to a close in Batman #17. The rock solid team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo look to bring this twisted tale to an end. It all comes down to this, The Joker has hit Batman where it hurts the most, and now he has sat him down for one last family dinner.

Going into the book my excitement level was through the roof, I could not wait to see what kind of a crazy ending Snyder has cooked up for this big event. When I started reading the first couple of pages my expectations grew. Snyder does do a good job of capturing the "romance" that Batman and Joker share. He has also been able to grasp The Joker's thoughts, ideas, and his obsession with Batman. However, the ending of the book seemed flat to me. Could it possibly be that the book was too over hyped? Maybe, but there just seems to be more questions than answers. That being said it is a very good book, it just came up a little short as far as the ending of a big cross over event.

Capullo's art is well worth the price of the book. His knack for not only drawing Batman, but also The Joker made him the perfect artist for this book. Flipping through page after page Joker's face gets a little more disgusting, and it's just simply amazing. After going back and reading the book a couple of time, I was able to pick up details that I overlooked in my first readings. That is what kept the book fresh and exciting, and keeps me reading.

7.5/10


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cattrek2005 - 2/13/2013, 6:02 AM
First... can't wait to get this
number1hero - 2/13/2013, 6:04 AM
After all that build up...it fell flat! Very disapointing ending...but really good art.
thatcoldblackcloud - 2/13/2013, 6:10 AM
I think Snyder is deffinitely a great writer that understands the characters he's working on pretty well, but every bat story of his i've read, i'm always left with a sense of "huh?" at the end. Like it's not enough or just too conveniently ambiguous.

This ending wouldve fit better as a 2 or 3 part story only on snyder's book instead of making this big fuzz about it and it really wasn't *that* big...buuut, whatever sells.

6.5 for me.
Bandido - 2/13/2013, 6:23 AM
Can't wait to read it :)

And yeah maybe if it wasn't not this HUGE crossover with a bunch of tie ins but whatever :p
NorrinRaddical - 2/13/2013, 6:30 AM
on one hand, temper your expectations folks. on the other hand, i'm almost a little glad Snyder didn't go for the "lazy shock". the last few pages were actually pretty great. I just think it all comes across as another impermanent unnecessary crossover.

that being said, I'd still keep your eyes peeled for the POTENTIAL goings on in Batman Inc 8. I think DOTFam may have been a distraction from a bigger story
MrDonut - 2/13/2013, 6:32 AM
Yh the ending didn't do it for me, but gotta give Snyder props for the whole 'romance' angle, definitely something I wanna see stick, but going back to the story; everyone seems absolutely fine, I literally see no real fallout, maybe I'm too dumb to notice but it literally seems like the old status quo prior to the arc
BackwardGalaxy - 2/13/2013, 6:39 AM
I mean, honestly... Three paragraphs that go into almost no specifics? This is what qualifies as a review on this site?
invalensname5 - 2/13/2013, 6:41 AM
Always leave them wanting more. The fact that you are left with questions is what works, and will make you all continue reading. What is everybody's obsession with answers and being spoon fed everything? If we had been given all the answers, people would be complaining too, saying that "Snyder killed the mystery".
The last 2 arcs were the best in years. This was a great book, and I for one am very satisfied, and really looking forward to what Synder has to offer us next.
JDUKE25 - 2/13/2013, 6:47 AM
Had a great story and build up. So much anticipation going in to this issue.

But the ending was such a let down.
invalensname5 - 2/13/2013, 6:50 AM
@Levitikuz- spot on.
Bandido - 2/13/2013, 6:58 AM
@LEVI: exactly!
WaylonJones - 2/13/2013, 7:12 AM
Levitikuz @ I get that, it was a misdirection. For me, personally I just wanted something more than that. I respect that it was what you were wanting and what you got. Just wasn't my cup of tea.
Bandido - 2/13/2013, 7:17 AM
I think @Gusto still has that image of BRB/Sarah Jessica Parker in his head :P lol

I know I do :'(
Nivekian - 2/13/2013, 7:23 AM
Event books should be used at a minimum. Marvel & DC use them way too much for sales ploys.
JerseyJoker - 2/13/2013, 7:24 AM
I bet someone here will give the comic 5 stars.
Bandido - 2/13/2013, 7:26 AM
@Splenda: idk if it was really that he pussiied out or the editorial team didn't let him do whatever, gotta remember that Snyder is a DARK DARK storyteller lol
TheAcidSkull - 2/13/2013, 7:29 AM
this was terrible.
malschla - 2/13/2013, 7:34 AM
@invalensname5: No, it doesn't leave me wanting more... it just leaves me unsatisfied. I wasn't looking for a big "shock" or anything like that, but I was looking for something to change. So the bat "family" is mad a Bruce? How is that a change? Before this started, none of them were around. The only reason they came around is because the Joker went after them personally. It's not like it was just Bruce being attacked so they rushed to his side.

It was building up to a twist or a change, and it didn't deliver. Weak story.

If there had been a change/twist of any kind: 9.5/10 (the build-up was masterful)

As it stands: 5.5/10
JatevinM - 2/13/2013, 7:37 AM
I've read it and while I was a bit let down by the way it ended I honestly think it was a great issue. Snyder's dialogue and his understanding of these characters is amazing and Greg's artwork is amazing as always. I love Alfred as much as the next Bat fan, but honestly I think if the Joker had killed Alfred that would have set up Batman for some of the best story telling in years. Not only would we have had to see Bruce/Batman deal with Alfred's death and the consequences of it, but we would have also seen the rest of the Batman family's reactions and struggles with it. The Joker would have almost certainly either have been killed brutally by Bruce or if he got away the Batfamily would have a kill on sight type of thing for him. I just think Snyder missed the perfect opportunity to completely change Batman for years to come.
invalensname5 - 2/13/2013, 7:42 AM
Batman hinting he knows who Joker is, that flashback in Arkham at the end, the whole Bat family realising Bruce has been lying to them....

All of that shakes the status quo up considerably. Snyder didn't tie up any loose knots- he just loosened them, and provided material for more story-telling.
jjk2814 - 2/13/2013, 7:45 AM
I'm throwing myself in with the "disappointed" lot. I enjoyed the dialogue-writing and the art, but as a conclusion to such a crazy story, there's no way you can't see it as a little bit of a letdown. Why? Because like EVERY single major comic event, the end result is completely inconsequential. Everytime we are led to believe things will change, something or someone will "never be the same," or the "status quo will change forever!"

I get what LEVITIKUZ is saying, and I'm glad he and others are satisfied with it, but if we're to believe the psychological trauma is the real "death of the family" theres even less of a chance that stories will actually follow through with in a thoughtful, believable manner than if they had killed off a major character.

All in all, this time me proves once again, that D.C. has no balls. Of course, I don't know why we always fall for it everytime...
SUPERSHADOWBAT - 2/13/2013, 7:46 AM
Snyder pretty much has left Batman a loner again. Since the bat family is so splintered now, my guess is you won't be seeing much of them in his stories now.
Bandido - 2/13/2013, 8:00 AM
@Gusto: hahahaha i can't be the only one
JatevinM - 2/13/2013, 8:14 AM
Splenda@ Actually thinking about it...this was all just one big joke for him. The fact that he made sure he mentioned this new potent element that he added to the Joker gas that just so happened to be the word HA says alot. The Joker never intended to actually physically hurt them its their minds he wanted and honestly looking at it that way.....Scott Snyder succeeded and so did the Joker.
invalensname5 - 2/13/2013, 8:25 AM
@Jatevin- Snyder IS the Joker!! ;)
thalidomide - 2/13/2013, 8:25 AM
It was [frick]ing awesome and I want more!
Bandido - 2/13/2013, 8:27 AM
WTF GUSTO! Who the [frick] is that!?!
rubbish78 - 2/13/2013, 8:37 AM
Even though, 'Death of the Family' didn't end as epically as I thought it would I still loved it. =D
But this story will definitely change the Bat family, true no one died but the damage the Joker did to them is arguably worse than death.
IgnurRant - 2/13/2013, 9:05 AM
Snyder's Batman has been terribly cliche. Hope this is the end of the run.
JatevinM - 2/13/2013, 9:08 AM
IgnurRant@...clearly you havent been reading the same thing that the rest of us has
SentinelofLiberty - 2/13/2013, 9:19 AM
I have not read this issue yet, but the story arc up to this point has been somewhat underwhelming, for me. Each book has largely been re-hashing the same thing, over and over again. I guess my hopes were WAY up, but I was expecting something with suspense along the lines of Long Halloween, or even the whole "Batman forced to his limits" a la Knightfall. Don't get me wrong, this is pretty good, but so far it's been "just a story arc" for me. As far as "definitive Joker stories,"Killing Joke is still untouched, in my oh so humble opinion.
TheArachnidAvenger - 2/13/2013, 9:33 AM
Amazing dialogue, gorgeous art, a lot of tension, fun to read. I rate it a 8.5 out of 10, I hope Dc will make a animated movie of this story...like now! =D
OtakuPapi - 2/13/2013, 9:37 AM
The entire book kept me on the edge until the end...but it left lingering questions to be answered at another time. And for an ongoing book, that is great writing. Some people were looking for a finale to the Batman Joker relationship, but this arc just evolved it to its next level. The entire book kept me tense and at the edge of my seat i give it a 7.5. Not as good as The Court of Owls, because that is going to be a hard arc to outdo
jasonicus - 2/13/2013, 10:12 AM
I was hoping for more carnage. Kind of weak.
TonyChu - 2/13/2013, 11:26 AM
I do understand the disappointment in this issue but I loved it. The bat family is kind of like post Tower of Babel, in which the team still respect Batman but there is a lack of trust amongst him. And besides comic book death has been over saturated for the past five years and ultimately there is no payoff because they end up coming back to life a year later. I would like to see more of the romance angle Joker has for Batman and how he can not comprehend how Batman has an alter ego but is just one man.
JredTheRed - 2/13/2013, 11:29 AM
cop out... dumb ending...i expected so much more
TheFox - 2/13/2013, 11:35 AM
SPOILERS

I absolutely LOVED the ending to this book. Comics these days have seemed to be getting grislier and grislier, and more careless with how violently they dispatch main characters (since everyone KNOWS death doesn't last anymore anyway). And frankly, this new Joker crossover has been one of those books where I felt that they were pushing things TOO far-- where the Joker lost the cleverness and sense of humor that has made him such a brilliant Batman villain, and became a simple murder machine.

But issue #17 fixed that.

It develops the Joker's fixation with Batman in wonderful ways, it's filled with evil traps and a solid showdown at the end, but most importantly, it remembered that the villain's name is THE JOKER. If the guy goes through an entire story without making one joke or playing one cruel prank, it defeats the point of it even BEING the Joker; it might as well just be Mr. Zsasz, as far as the story structure goes. So #17 gets back to what the Joker does best: playing mind games with Batman to see just how far he can push his "king".

You don't have to kill off characters to build suspense-- you just have to create the very real DANGER that they're going to die. Snyder did that beautifully, creating a tense, taught story in which Bruce feared for the safety of his entire family. But there was no need to actually KILL any of the characters, or horribly mutilate them, either-- all that would have been good for is shock value, and only piss-poor writers rely on shock value to make their stories memorable (I'm looking at you, Jeph Loeb...).

Snyder remembered that the point of a Batman/Joker story isn't the carnage that the Joker creates, but the relationship between Batman and the Joker. And on that count, he delivered an EXCEPTIONAL ending.

In my opinion, anyway.

END SPOILERS

Z
DukeAcureds - 2/13/2013, 2:20 PM
Looks like a decent issue as far as single issues go. The story looks enjoyable and all.
But as an event? NOBODY DIES? Nobody?! All that hype??!!!
Scott Snyder is fast getting a repuation for being really exciting and talented and then pleasing himself really fast, rolling over and falling asleep.
I'm glad I did not buy into the hyope of this.
DukeAcureds - 2/13/2013, 2:21 PM
SPOILER ALERT! Nothing happens.
Shadowelfz - 2/13/2013, 4:14 PM
Such a let down.
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